Opening provocation :
Tsitsit Fringe is committed to encouraging the development of new work. So far this has been through a residency scheme run by the Arts Depot in Finchley, where recipients are granted two weeks development time and a grant of £1000. Is this a good model to expand or do we need something different/ bigger ?
• What does ‘seed funding ‘ really mean ? Often the sums are too small to be more than helping people come up with the germ of an idea, especially in a landscape with no funding. These are questions of course that are not unique to Jewish theatre, and the ‘residency/ seed funding model’ is well established.
• So is what we need residencies/ seed funding PLUS pathways from the seed funding ,either via more advice or support / hack on making a show / advice on how to commercialise shows / funding support and advice / mentoring ?
• Is there an issue also about seed funding often being quite isolating ? Do we need more laboratory, collaborative spaces eg 24hour ‘lock ins’ and making work either very quickly or very slowly?
• If we think bigger, is a ‘Jewish Arts Council ‘model helpful ? Suppose we had a Jewish Arts Foundation that was able to give away 125-150 K a year ? Would this be the level of catalyst we need ? And what if it also offered mentoring, development and funding support?
• BUT would that mean the Arts Council would feel Jewish Theatre was therefore already funded – Not really, since the sums are small and more important, there any any number of charities and Arts support organisations people anyway apply to eg instructive to look at how investment and support works for Black Theatre and new global majority writers or eg National Youth Theatre as a model ?
• How might such an approach avoid too much time being spent on bureaucracy and artists filling in forms? Is there a way of creating support that is value driven and is itself part of a bigger strategy ?
• At a deeper level, is this about raising the profile of the Arts generally within the Jewish community ? A look at the in the States offers a model for funders coming together to support new work and get greater bang for their buck’ . Significantly, there is no voice for Jewish Arts on Jewish Leadership Council.
Summary and next steps Seed funding/residencies are incredibly helpful and useful but let’s think big as well ! If you are interested in finding out more about the Tsitsit /Arts Depot residencies or getting involved in helping develop the Jewish Arts Foundation idea please contact Alastair via [email protected]

Opening Provocation
Tsitsit Fringe began in 2019 and has grown bit by bit, but it raises important questions about what a Jewish Fringe could/should be
This was as a small session looking at what a more Fringe approach could offer – the general feeling was that we do need this kind of a platform for more experimental, early stage work without too many boundaries or constraints and somewhere that encouraged work across and between art forms. There was some good discussion about spaces including developing site specific work. We discussed the balance between an open and curated fringe and how to develop relationships with other Fringe festivals and encourage cross cultural collaboration.
Next steps : An open invite to get involved Tsitsit Fringe whether as performer, organiser or adviser!

Opening Provocation
There are any number of small studio/ pub theatre spaces in London but there is no dedicated ‘London Jewish Theatre’ as in some other cities so Jewish theatre has no natural home, but does it really need one or is this too limiting ?
• Is a Jewish theatre by definition exclusive / excluding ? Location may matter / the bigger problem is rehearsal space
• It might be better to see it as an incubator space ‘where Jewish theatre begins’ / a space that could offer development, support and residencies through the year, with focus/ support / scratch nights for differing voices eg women writers/ LHBTQ+ / Sephardi/ ‘brown Jews’ / Yiddish theatre - a truly inclusive Jewish space.
• Do we need a new space at all or is this something that could be carved out of current JW3 , whether a new studio theatre space or existing auditorium or a black box within existing auditorium?
• Battling for use of space is always an issue.
Summary and next steps
So, what was emerging was a view that perhaps what we needed most was a Jewish incubator space / creative hub , acting as a physical performance space but also a physical get together space for meeting people, sharing ideas, collaborative work and also a stepping stone/ trajectory to bigger spaces and longer runs (and perhaps also the base for a new Jewish Arts Foundation ) and again it was felt that JW3 could at least in part (given its wider remit) fulfil this role
Next steps therefore included a conversation with William at JW3 about these ideas and building a small group of people interested in taking these ideas further esp. the Yiddish Theatre folk who were talking in a similar vein about looking for a dedicated home he very same What Next For Jewish Theatre day!